Franz Weinschenk

Host, Valley Writers Read

Franz Weinschenk, his parents and his older brother Fritz were indeed lucky to get out of Germany just before World War II.  For a while they lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., before moving to Madera, CA.  He graduated from Madera High and Fresno State.  From 1948 to 1952 he taught at Edison High School in Fresno after which he was drafted and served in the US Army for two years. 

After being discharged, he started teaching speech and English at Fresno City College.  As the years passed, besides his teaching assignments, he was chosen to be the school's first yearbook adviser, their first debate coach, and the first Dean of the college's brand new Humanities Division, a job he held for 12 years.  He retired from working full-time in 1980, but to this day continues teaching at least one evening class.  From 1980 to 1988, he served as the director of the Volunteer Bureau of Fresno County.  Franz has three children and lives with his wife Sally. He enjoys power walking, swimming and biking.

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Valley Writers Read
10:12 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Janet Nichols Lynch's "My Beautiful Hippie" on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, local author Janet Nichols Lynch reads her story “My Beautiful Hippie.”  We get to meet a family who lived in the Haight-Ashbury District in San Francisco during the Vietnam War.  The daughter becomes interested in a hippie, but the rest of the family can't stand him. 

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Valley Writers Read
7:11 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Lillian Faderman's "Naked In The Promised Land" on Valley Writers Read

On this week's Valley Writers Read, Lillian Faderman reads from her book “Naked In The Promised Land.”  Originally her family came from Poland, but now, even though she still sees him, the mother's husband has left and denies being the baby's father.  In the end, the mother, her baby, and the mother's sister decide to start life over again in California.

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Valley Writers Read
7:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Paul Hernandez's "Nampay the Amazonian" on Valley Writers Read

This program features a story by Paul Hernandez entitled  “Nampay the Amazonian.” Nampay is a popular musician who becomes world famous and revered.  The story is read by several of his associates -- his promoter, his pilot, a fellow musician, a fan, and even the man who constructed his wonderful guitar.

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Valley Writers Read
4:59 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Don Parkay's 'The Distance Between Stars'

This week's program features a story by Don Parkay entitled “The Distance Between Stars.”  Mom and daughter live in the countryside up in the high desert of Western California.  Dina, the daughter volunteers at a bookstore in town.  Then, when Mom meets Clay, the owner of the bookstore, they seem to be attracted to each other.

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Valley Writers Read
4:37 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Franz Weinschenk's 'A Hike Down Colony Mill Road'

Franz Weinschenk
Credit Michael Karibian / Educational Employees Credit Union

Franz Weinschenk reads “A Hike down Colony Mill Road.”  Story is about an unhappy group of sailors from San Francisco known as the “Kaweah Colony,” who built a saw mill at the 5,000 foot level in what it now Sequoia National Park. It took them four years to construct a 10-mile road up to the saw mill, but they were forced to vacate once the national park was established.

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Valley Writers Read
7:53 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Howard Hendrix's "Red Rover, Red Rover" on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, Howard Hendrix reads “Red Rover, Red Rover.”  This is a science fiction story about a billionaire who, along with his talking dog “Cogzie,” decides to move to Mars.  Soon, and often, the dog reminds him how mankind has abused dogs, which gets the two of them into a big fight.  

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Valley Writers Read
7:39 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Mark Arax's "King of California" on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, Mark Arax reads from “The King of California.”  This is the story of how some cotton farmers dried out the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi (Tulare Lake) and made it into a huge cotton empire.  The lead grower, J.G. Boswell, believes in making a factory out of the fields and goes by the saying “from the lab to the fields to the gin.”

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Valley Writers Read
4:52 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

On Valley Writers Read: Jim Ashford's 'Country Roads'

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by Fresno author Jim Ashford titled "Country Roads." Back in high school, Tom Carson fought off some bullies who were after Billy Slurd.  So that when Billy passed away, he left Tom a present-- a magic 1956 Ford Thunderbird that turned into a time machine.  When you tuned in the radio, all you could hear is 1956 radio talk –  Al Radka carries on about Mrs. Winterbottom and KYNO broadcasts of the Fresno Cardinals.

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Valley Writers Read
10:26 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Hope Nisly's 'Milk Run' on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by Hope Nisly titled "Milk Run." Austin and Jed escape from the half-way house in which they're incarcerated and live in the mountains selling pine cones to vacationers.  But they get re-arrested and soon find themselves being transported back to prison.  They try to tip over the van they're in, but don't succeed.  So now face many more years of imprisonment.

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Valley Writers Read
7:08 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Gary Hill's "There's No One At Manubi, Only Flies" on Valley Writers Read

Gary Hill reads “There's No One At Manubi, Only Flies.”  This story takes place in the huge Gibson Desert of Australia.  A desert tribe desperately hopes a distant rain cloud will end the drought.  But it doesn't.  But just as they prepare to die of thirst, they see a water truck in the distance.  However, even if it saves them, some will not want to go to the mission with the truck but remain in their ancestral home.  

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Valley Writers Read
7:01 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Valerie Schultz's “Some Kind of Bee” and “Four Seasons and The Moon”

Valerie Schultz reads “Some Kind of Bee” and “Four Seasons and The Moon.”  Grandma is driving down the street when a bee blows in the window.  She's so distracted she loses concentration and wrecks the car.  Now all she can talk about is how old she is, just old enough to make funeral arrangements.  But she's in for a big surprise!

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Valley Writers Read
7:01 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Jim Benelli's “Big Joe and the Red Headed Hitchhiker” on Valley Writers Read

Jim Benelli reads “Big Joe and the Red Headed Hitchhiker.”  A beer-drinking, Buck Owens-loving truck driver is on his way to St. Louis with a load of tomatoes.  He picks up a red-headed  hitchhiker who knows all the words to Buck Owens' songs but somehow disappears after the truck has an accident out in the Mojave desert.  

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Valley Writers Read
7:41 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Debbie Everson Borofka's "Remembrance" on Valley Writers Read

Debbie Everson Borofka reads "Remembrance."  The narrator's father came down with bronchitis when he was just a baby.  So the grandparent put him in a tent with boiling water inside to supply steam.  Unfortunately, the water spilled over and scalded the baby's feet so badly that he lost them.  This accident affected family relationships for decades.

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Valley Writers Read
7:19 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Judy Ryan's "Whistle Stop" on Valley Writers Read

Judy Ryan reads “Whistle Stop.”  It's a story about Jennifer who for years didn't want to talk but only whistled.  She got pregnant, ran away from home, gave her baby up for adoption, and finally decided to look for her grandparents.  That's when she thought she found her grandfather—who really wasn't.  

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Valley Writers Read
5:04 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Masumoto Family's "The Perfect Peach" on Valley Writers Read

The Perfect Peach
Ten Speed Press

Three members of the Masumoto family, Mas, his wife Marcy, and daughter Nikiko read “The Perfect Peach.”  They tell us what it takes to grow peaches and grapes on their productive farm in Del Rey and describe how they tend to their land and how to enjoy the results of their labor—especially those delicious peaches!

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Valley Writers Read
7:35 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Steve Yarbrough's "A Life of Ease" on Valley Writers Read

Steve Yarbrough
Credit http://steveyarbrough.net/

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story titled "A Life of Ease" by acclaimed novelist Steve Yarbrough. John Grisham wrote of Yarbrough, [he is] "wickedly observant, funny, cynical, evocative, and he possesses a gift that cannot be taught: he can tell a story." 

Yarbrough's 2004 novel "Prisoners of War" was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and his 1999 novel "The Oxygen Man" won the California Book Award.  He taught at Fresno State from 1988 - 2009. Yarbrough's story is about a minister in a small church in Mississippi and his interactions with his parishioners. 

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Valley Writers Read
12:30 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

“The Yellow Dressing Room” and “Back Stage” on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, Fresno author Sally Stallings reads two stories about Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.  The author gives us a good look at what happened to both young and old—both backstage and out front at various Christmas performances of the popular ballet.  

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Valley Writers Read
12:08 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

“Born Again Golfer” and “Golf! A Four-Lettered Word” on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, our program revolves around the sport of golf with two stories by local authors. In Angelo Angarano's “Born Again Golfer,” we hear what happened to an avid golfer when he enlisted a Zen Buddhist golf pro to help him answer an important question. And in David Creighton's story “Golf!  A Four-Lettered Word”  the author describes what happened to a golfer who dumped three consecutive golf shots right into the middle of a lake.

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Valley Writers Read
12:07 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

"Military Cemetery" and "Leaving Rapunzel's Window" on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear two stories from two local authors. Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco resides in Merced and reads her own story, titled "Military Cemetery." It tells us about an encounter between two young women and a couple of men they met at a bar, one of whom has a shocking announcement. The second story, "Leaving Rapunzel's Window" by Fresno author Anne Leath Biggs describes the author's childhood in a middle-class neighborhood on Michigan Avenue in Fresno.  

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Valley Writers Read
12:24 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Valerie Schultz's “The Rufus Gene” on Valley Writers Read

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by Tehachapi author Valerie Schultz titled "The Rufus Gene." The story is about a the adventures of family who move into an upscale neighborhood and their mixed-breed dog Rufus. 

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